The Power of a Great Actor

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been working on a project with many of my fellow Microsoft technical evangelists, including Lynn Treadwell (pictured) and Scott Davis. I'm helping mostly with the messaging, and I've spent quite a bit of time collaborating with a professional writer on the video scripts.

Without going into all of the details, most of my background and experience is with the written word. I used to write advertising copy, and I did a lot of technical editing. But—although I always try to write in a conversational tone—I've never written an actual script. Needless to say, this was a shift for me.

This past Friday, we had a rehearsal at Microsoft Studios with a well known actor. I don't want to spoil the surprise, so you'll have to wait to find out who it is. But, it was a very enlightening experience.

I fully expected that hearing a professional actor would increase the power of the words we had written, but I didn't expect it to have such impact. The tone of our messaging is to inspire and talk about possibilities, and I walked away from the day completely inspired! Not only that, but the physical movements and dramatic pauses added a great rhythm and cadence to the message. Outstanding!

It also surprised me how economical you can be with your words and still make an effective point. We trimmed a lot of unnecessary dialogue and "roughed" it up a bit. In the end, our result was a whole lot better.

We spent all day today back at Microsoft Studios recording the final content, and I can't wait until you can see the results. Expect an update in a few weeks.